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11 Eye-Opening Statistics About Wireless Connectivity You Should Know

7 minute read | 02/09/2019

11 Eye-Opening Statistics About Wireless Connectivity You Should Know

For today’s consumers, it’s no longer a luxury to provide online access - but a necessity. Your customers, guests, visitors and passengers want a free WiFi service that keeps them in touch with the rest of the world, no matter where they are.  that keeps them in touch with the rest of the world, no matter where they are.  


You probably already know about how important it is for your organisation to offer WiFi. But you might not know just how important. Discover 11 impressive statistics about wireless connectivity that will make you realise the full extent of the importance of free WiFi provision. 

How Have the Public's Expectations for WiFi Changed?

  1. There will be 6.3bn smartphone users by 2029
  2. Nearly two out of every five people (38%) use public networks every single day, while 69% of people use them at least once a week.
  3. Most UK customers (55%) now feel sharing some information is a price they’re willing to pay.
  4. In 2023, there was 5.3 billion internet users worldwide. That’s two thirds of the global population.  
  5. A growing number (21%) of internet users were accessing the internet exclusively via a smartphone
  6. LA study found that almost 62% of businesses reported that customers spend more time with them after providing WiFi. 
  7. People most commonly use public Wi-Fi in cafes and restaurants (38%), hotels (38%) and libraries (33%). With other sectors having between 28 and 35% of WiFi users. 

As these statistics suggest, businesses of all sizes and sectors are missing out on a plethora of benefits if they don’t implement a successful WiFi solution.  

Many people use public WiFi when they are on the go, and most commonly, on their smartphone. The amount of smartphone users grows daily. There were 66.11 million internet users in the United Kingdom at the start of 2023. More and more people own devices where they need to use the internet. 

The figures are all there. You have two questions to ask yourself.  

  1. If you don’t offer a WiFi solution, then why?  
  2. If you do offer a WiFi solution, is it good enough? 

If you’re not leveraging these important insights, the chance to improve customer engagement will ultimately be in the hands of your competitors, not yours. 

It’s not just about providing connection to the internet, but the user journey to get there.  

When authenticating to the WiFi, users like to be reassured that they're connecting to the right one; custom branding provides this. The portal can also be used to signpost visitors to further information or resources, as well as capture data and give them an option to opt into marketing or charity efforts.  

The branded User Experience not only increases your brand awareness, but it can leave a lasting impression and build credibility for your business. In an increasingly competitive market, you need to put your brand in front of your audience as much as possible to increase the chance of them purchasing, or returning.  
Having another avenue where you can engage with customers through targeted marketing will keep your company at the forefront of their minds. It’s another chance to leave a positive impression on a customer, even weeks or months after their visit. 

The user experience can be great, but the WiFi also needs to be free, fast and reliable. In a world that now has 5G speeds, some users choose not to use the WiFi because it’s not fast enough. Another concern is safety on the internet. 

You can’t ignore the staggering amount of people that prefer to shop where there’s free WiFi, but when it comes to concerns about privacy and security, we know it can sometimes deter users. That’s why SPARK TSL has security measures in place to help protect users. There is a layer within the standard offering and an additional layer of security called SPARK® Secure

There are also certain schemes that are designed to protect users from inappropriate content, such as the 'Friendly WiFi Scheme'. Providing this extra level of assurance to your customers increases their loyalty to your brand. Showing your company cares and that you have their best interest at heart, increases brand affinity and encourages them to return to your business.  

The Future of Wireless Connectivity

8. As WiFi networks potentially use AI technology and machine learning, we can start to expect a higher standard of personalisation from our networks.

9. Cities across the world are struggling to come up with a solution to providing reliable public WiFi to meet these new consumer demands. 

10. Globally, there will be nearly 628 million public WiFi hotspots by 2023, up from 169 million hotspots in 2018.

11. Cities have a responsibility to ensure that connectivity is accessible to all.  

The term ‘smart city’ is being increasingly used to refer to modern IT solutions that improve public infrastructure and services. People expect more from public services than they used to. WiFi is the quickest and least expensive way of providing universal internet access that acts as a springboard to integrate and showcase many other services.  

Smart cities are also looking into improving facial recognition software and wireless-enabled body-mounted cameras for police officers to make their jobs easier. The idea is that these features act as a deterrent and make the city safer for everyone. 

All businesses benefit when they offer free WiFi - regardless of which industry they’re in, whether it be WiFi for retail, transport, or otherwise. The analytics you can harvest can give you better insight into customer behaviours and preferences with how long they stay for, if they are a new or returning visitor, what device they’re using and how much data they are transferring. All this data can be used to increase your overall offering and further boost customer satisfaction. 

Want more data to show the increase in WiFi trends on smartphones, social media and population usage? Check out Digital 2023: Global Overview Report.

However, one major concern is whether cities can provide WiFi that's reliable enough to satisfy the public's demands. As the number of people using WiFi on their smart devices increases, can public WiFi networks cope? 

This is where AI can step in

AI can monitor WiFi networks and fix problems before they occur, seamlessly empowering IT administrators and enforce rules related to failed connection attempts, roaming, capacity and access point uptime issues - regardless of the size or complexity of their network. 

That doesn't mean these machines will replace humans. In fact, while AI is taking care of the menial, repetitive tasks, human staff can focus on other vital, more strategic projects. It's about teamwork. 

While AI-enabled machine learning will create a new approach to network design, the human element will still be pivotal. AI doesn’t necessarily guarantee better results. It still needs a skilled network professional to set up and monitor the system, creating harmony between the two, leading to increased efficiency and less problems.  

Discover More Eye-Opening Benefits From Wireless Connectivity That Could Benefit Your Company

Wireless connectivity isn’t just an added bonus, it’s an expectation for all sectors. Not only is it advantageous for your customers, visitors and passengers - but it’s also beneficial for your business. 

Download our SPARK® Connect brochure that will outline how our services can help you better engage with your customers and reap the rewards.  

SPARK Connect